The Ferris Wheel
Peter A. Weiss
Copyright © 2017 by Peter Weiss
All rights reserved.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
They were supposed to meet up at nine-thirty. By then the bands would be in full swing, one set after the next until the early morning hours. Paul sat a long time by himself. He didn’t want to move around because he was tired. His team had had a heavy workout in full equipment through the whole morning and into the early afternoon. The coach worked them hard with three days off upcoming, so they had a full scrimmage after the regular drills.
Biggest rule for the defense was not to hurt the running backs and receivers and never to take down the quarterback. Paul had found multiple clean shots at all of those protected species, and once, in an awkward moment turned funny, he was almost unable to stop himself from whapping the QB. At the last minute, uncharacteristically, he had opened his arms and smothered him in a bear hug. The coach caught it on film, and in the afternoon they showed the film. Paul hugged him, said something to him which could not be heard, then he took off his helmet and kissed the QB on his. He and the QB had had a big laugh and a Kodak moment. The offensive lineman and the running back had been sentenced to ten laps for missing their blocks. The coach asked Paul what he’d said but Paul told him he didn’t kiss and tell.
He remembered. He remembered what he said. He remembered what he said to the offensive lineman who missed the block. He remembered that the next play, he smacked that lineman with a forearm and told him he’d better never leave the QB naked like that again. If it had been a game, that QB would have been out for the count. The lineman said something nasty back to Paul, so Paul decided to put him on his ass, which he did two plays later, flat back and down on his butt. That cost the lineman another ten laps and so at the end of the practice the lineman did twenty laps, five miles, and the running back did ten laps. Paul ran the whole five miles with the lineman, something he did for the team because bad blood had no place on the team, in season or off, and though there was always bad blood, Paul was damned if he’d be the cause of it.
So he was tired. He had shaved and showered after practice and taken a quick nap at home before meeting up with Elliot and the musketeers. He sat quietly now and stayed within himself. He was hungry and didn’t even get up to get something to eat. In fact, despite the noise and the music and the lights and the tumult, he was almost dozing off.
“Did you see me in your dreams?” Lilly nudged Paul with her arm. She stood by him looking down at him where he sat.
Paul looked up at her, noticed she wore a skirt and blouse. She still had cowboy boots and her cowboy hat on, but he saw she was wearing lipstick.
“Hey,” he said. He scooched over a bit so she could sit with him. He smiled at her and reached out to shake hands.
“Well, did you?”
“See me in your dreams.”
“Lots of times,” he said. “Lots of times. You see me?”
“I did.” Lilly shook his hand and kept it in hers. Then she leaned in toward him and kissed him once, a hello kiss. “Goddamn you look good. I almost didn’t recognize you.”
to be continued